The Long View: Music for 9.11 – 9.18 and beyond, to 9.29

September 11, 2013
Off on vacation

Off on vacation

Lots of good jazz and roots music taking place this week and in upcoming weeks. I’ve briefly listed some events beyond the next week, since I will be taking a vacation and only have sporadic access to e-mail and the interweb, so you won’t be hearing from me until October 3rd. Until then, take advantage of the offerings we have in this town. After all music can lift the soul.


Wednesday, September 11

Trumpet Summit @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9pm ($25)   Wow, four trumpeters from different eras come together for an evening that trumpets the trumpet, so to speak. Featuring Randy Brecker, Dr. Eddie Henderson, Jeremy Pelt, and Leon Jordan, Jr. Brecker is a Grammy winner who has been on hundreds of recordings, from Bruce Springsteen and Frank Sinatra, to Steely Dan, Parliament-Funkadelic, and the Brecker Brothers. Henderson has worked with Art Blakey, Charles Earland, and the Herbie Hancock Sextet. Pelt has been with the Mingus Big Band, and played with Bobby Blue bland, Cedar Walton, and Ravi Coltrane, among others. Leon Jordan plays on the cutting edge of modern music, having graduated from the University of the Arts in 2009.

Mansur Scott & The Harlem Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Note the early start time. This New York vocalist/percussionist is known as the Jazz Mayor of Harlem. His approach to singing is blues-based but at the same time spare and reserved. He’s performed all over NYC, and of late, Europe. He’s currently touring behind his debut album, Sometimes Forgotten, Sometimes Remembered, reviewed here. The Harlem Quartet is  Carlson Holmes, piano; Wayne Bachelor, bass; and Mark Johnson, drums, with guest soloists Paul Zouner on trombone, and Kiemens Piem on sax. Here’s a video of Scott singing an Abbey Lincoln song to give you an idea of his thoughtful way with a lyric.

Friday, September 13

Retro Swing Sister @ The Village, Mendota Heights. 6:30pm – 8:30pm (Free) This outdoor performance is part of the Village’s Crazy Days event. Rhonda Laurie & Maryann Sullivan will be joined by Robert Bell, guitar; Doug Haining, sax; Matt Peterson, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums. Do a little swing dancing in-between shopping at the Village Shops, or instead of shopping.

Merciless Ghost @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8-11pm (tip jar) Freely improvised music with George Cartwright, sax; Josh Granowski, bass; and Davu Seru, drums/percussion.

Friday, Saturday, September 13, 14

images-2Locally Damaging Winds @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) Ahh, the trombone, it rarely gets respect, but I’d say that anyone seeing this four trombone group at work would come away with new respect for the instrument and those who play it. Featuring Pete Enblom, Wade Clark, Brad Bellows, and Dave Graf on trombones, with Bryan Nichols, piano; Tom Pieper, bass; and Mac Santiago, drums.

Open Door Music #1 @ The Ritz Theater, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15-$25) This is billed as “A Conducted Improvisation and Free Style Music Festivl Celebrating the Legacy of Butch Morris.” Morris was a cornetist who originated Conduction, a type of free improvisation that was nevertheless structured, which he conducted with hand gestures and a baton. This two-night stand will feature a number of freely improvising groups. Friday night will feature the IMP Ork and the Minnesota Premier of Black Feburary: a documentary on Butch Morris. Saturday features the Improvestra, Cherry Spoon Collective, and Coloring Time.  Here’s the Cherry Spoon Collective at an open rehearsal.

Saturday, September 14

Selby Avenue Jazz Festival @ Selby & Milton, Saint Paul. Noon – 9pm. (Free) This family-friendly event is always fun. Lots of food and other vendors and a lineup that includes neighborhood musicians as well as visiting musicians: Dick & Jane’s Brass Band; The Lex-Hamm Community Band; Yohannes Tona; and headliners  Damon L. Brown, and Marcus Johnson. Complete information can be found here.

Franconia Sculpture Park Jazz Festival, 29836 St. Croix Trail, Franconia. Noon – 6pm (Free, $5 parking) Two fine instrumental groups – Trio Pika (Adam Linz, Phil Hey, Bryan Nichols), and Atlantis Quartet, and three vocalists: Sophia Shorai, Lucia Newell, and  Debbie Duncan. Located 3 miles west of Taylors Falls on Highway 8. Pack a picnic, or buy food and beverages there.

Monday, September 16

Doc Severinsen Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($60 – $40), 9pm ($50 – $30) Not exactly adventurous music, but powerful, and boy, does Doc know how to swing. His band includes a number of Minnesota musicians, including Mary Louise Knutson on piano.

…And in Jazz for the next couple of weeks:

Wednesday, September 18

Dave Brattain Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Mainstream jazz from a fine saxophonist.

Thursday, September 19

Ravi Coltrane Quartet at the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($25) Modern jazz from the son of John Coltrane.

Dave Karr Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) The eighty-something Karr can still blow the sax like anybody’s business.

Thursday – Sunday, September 19 – 22, and September 26-29 

PerformancePage-913x1024Belmont Hotel @ The Southern Theater, Minneapolis. Sundays, 3pm, other performances, 7:30pm ($40 opening night -the 20th, $27, $19 for seniors) This is a jazz/dance/singing performance starring Katie Geary and up and coming recording artist Cameron Wright. A live band with horns will provide the music, with choreography by Regina Peluso. More information can be found at:

Friday, Saturday, September 20, 21

Diane Witherspoon @ the Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($?) Shirley Witherspoon’s sister returns from California to sing for us during this two night stand.

Tuesday, September 24

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Modern Big Band Jazz.

Thursday, September 26

Pete Whitman’s X-Tet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) A smallish big band that cooks

Friday, September 27

Lila Ammons CD Release @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 10pm ($?) Her new album is The Nearness of You, in which she tackles standards, blues, and bossas with ease, showcasing her considerable way with a lyric. The title song shines a light on her tasteful way with a melody, while her quiet urgency reveals the emotional center of the Billie Holiday tune, Don’t Explain.

Friday, Saturday, September 27, 28

Dean Magraw’s Red Planet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10?) You can’t find a more versatile, imaginative guitarist in town than Dean Magraw.

Saturday, Sunday, September 28, 29

Dave Holland Prism @ The Dakota, Minneapolis 7pm ($40). 9pm ($30) Holland’s latest project, this time featuring Craig Taborn, piano; Kevin Eubanks, guitar; and Eric Harland, drums.

More listings for Twin Cities jazz can be found at KBEM and at Jazz Police. Jazz Police also features jazz commentary as well, as do Bebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other

Wednesday, Sep 11

Crankshaft on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7FM) and 7pm (331 Club – tip Jar) Crankshaft is an original: he attacks his guitar like a crocodile grabs a zebra; he’s funny, which is often reflected in his songs; and he exudes high energy. Imagine, if you will, the energy of punk rock going into blues, country, and good ol’ rock and role. He plays as one-man band and also has a trio – the Gear Grinders. Not sure who will turn up, but you can surely find out on the radio show. PS: Word has it a big fan will be celebrating her birthday this evening as well, so there will undoubtedly be additional whooping, hollering, and dancing.

Patti Lupone As Evita

Patti Lupone As Evita

Thursday, Friday, Sep 12, 13

Patti LuPone @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($70 – $45), 9pm ($60-$35) Here we have some Broadway/cabaret singing from LuPone, who has been in countless Broadway shows, and won two Tonys. She’s best know for her roles as Eva Peron in “Evita,” Fantine, in the original London cast of “Les Miserables,” and Mama Rose in Gypsy.

Friday, September 13

Portland Cello Project @ Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, 3045 Chicago Ave So, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Free-Will Offering) Here’s an intriguing event. The seven-cello strong PCP, as they’re known to fans, will be playing Beck, Bach, and Brubeck at this Southside Church. They’ll play songs from Beck Hanson’s SongReader, a sheet-music-only release, as well as compositions from JS Bach and Dave Brubeck. You can see them playing Take Five at:

Joe and Vicki Price @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 9-11pm (Tip Jar) Joe and Vicki have rightly gathered a big following here in the Twin Cities with their stripped down, trance-meets-delta style of blues. Not the kind of music you’d expect from a couple living in rural Iowa.

The Selecter @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm doors, 8pm music ($25) Back in the 80s, a group of English bands started a ska revival and recorded for 2-Tone records. The Selecter was one of them and they’re back, with two well-recieved albums: 2011’s Made in Britain and 2013’s String Theory, and are featuring Pauline Black, the queen of ska. Cleveland’s Pinstrips open. Get a taste of their enthusiastic approach with this video.

Saturday, September 14

West Bank Benefit for Charmaine Bird @ Palmer’s, Minneapolis. 2pm – 9pm. Truth be told, I don’t know Charmaine, but many musicians apparently do. And what musicians! John Beach leads off at 3pm, followed by Spider John Koerner at 4pm, Willie Murphy at 5pm, Pop Wagner and Dakota Dave Hull at 6pm, and the Liquor Pigs at 7pm.

images-3Commander Cody @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25) You don’t have to be Lost in the Ozone Again, driving a Hot Rod Lincoln, or be Down to Seeds & Stems Again to enjoy the rockin’ country/roots excursions of Commander Cody. It’s rowdy, often funny, roadhouse music, and though the Dakota may be a bit more polished than the usual venues for this band, that won’t stop anyone from having fun.

Red Dog @ the Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8-11pm (Tip jar) This country/folk trio consists of musicians who have played around the Twin Cities for many, many years, going all the way back to the West Bank Trackers and the Bluegills.

Sunday, September 15

Patty & the Buttons & the Cactus Blossoms @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No cover) Here you have two groups with strong followings. Patty & the Buttons play acoustic swing, New Orleans, jazz, ragtime, and the blues. The Cactus Blossoms play originals that sound like vintage country. A toe-tappin’ evening. Bolder listeners may even squeeze in a dance or two in the aisles.

Monday, September 16

Corpse Reviver CD Release, with Charlie Parr @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($12) Corpse Reviver plays the music found on the Harry Smith Anthology of American Folk Music. They are Mikkel Beckman, percussion, Jillian Rae, fiddle, and Adam Kiesling, guitar and banjo. They’re celebrating the release of their first album: Volume One: I’ll be Rested When the Roll is Called. Fine musicians all, and they’ll have Charlie Parr opening. Here they are doing the title song.

…And in Blues and Roots for the next couple of weeks:

Wednesday, September 18

Krar Collective @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm (Free, while tickets last) Ethiopian music  – contemporary, yet rooted in tradition.

Aurora Celtic Band @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30 – 9:30pm. (Tip Jar) Edgy Irish music from a touring band.

Thursday, September 19

Jimmy Cliff @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 9pm ($30) The Reggae master will undoubtedly light up the place.

Friday, September 20

Paul Cebar @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm ($10) Dance, Dance, Dance.

Meg Hutchinson @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 8pm ($15) Part of Red House Live series.

Vasen @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) Folk-rockish trio from Sweden

Saturday, September 21

Hot Pants 6th Anniversary @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Dance to rare funk n’ soul 45s.

Philips Phonograph @ The Red Stag Supper Club, Minneapolis. 10pm (No cover) An indie folk band that mixes things up a bit by including keyboards and trumpet along with the usual instrumentation. With Eric Phillips, vocals, guitar, banjo; Kurt Larson, Keys, vocals; Lauren Vetsch, Trumpet, Glock; and Matthew Thomas, drums, shaker, and tambourine

Sunday, September 22

Tim Sparks & Phil Heywood @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Two masters of the acoustic guitar.

Monday, Tuesday, September 23, 24

Bettye LaVette @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45) As soulful as it gets. She’ll wring you out.

Wednesday, September 25

Rena Haus Trio on KFAI and @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI), 7pm (331 Club – tip jar) Original blues and roots

Debo Band and Christine Salem @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm (Free) Ethiopian dance music and a singer from Reunion, in the Indian Ocean. Part of the Global Roots Festival

Thursday, September 26

Willie Walker & Scottie Miller @ Holihan’s Pub, White Bear Lake. 8pm (No Cover) Interesting pairing of two terrific musicians who, as far as I know, have not appeared together before: Walker on vocals, and Miller on piano & vocals, backed by Bobby Schnitzer, guitar; Larry Wiegard, bass; and Scott Sansby, drums.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, September 26, 27, 28

Zeitgeist’s New Music Harvest @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7:30pm each night. ($10, Thurs, Fri; $20, Sat Fundraiser). New Chamber Music from near and far.

Friday, September 27

North Mississippi All-Stars, and Lightnin’ Malcolm @ the Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9pm ($17) Deep, Deep Blues from the South, with a pair of acts that feature the high energy that goes over well with the young crowd.

Saturday, September 28

Rauchfest @ Harriet Brewing, Minneapolis. 1pm – 10pm. ($15) W/ Derobe Dance Band, Molly Maher, Boys “n the Barrels, and more. Lotsa music, fresh beer, and food trucks.

Sunday, September 29

Frigg @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($20) Hot, Nordic folk-rock.

Monday, September 30

Dan Penn w/Bobby Emmons @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) Soulful songwriter and composer of hits for Aretha, James Carr, and more. I’m really sorry I’m missing this one, as Penn has proven to be a great storyteller, as a performer, and as a songwriter.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the Minnesota Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar.

September Song. Music for 9.4 – 9.10

September 4, 2013
Enjoy the last days of summer

Enjoy the last days of summer

Well, the days are going short and the weather is delightful. It’s no longer unthinkable to go inside while the sun is still shining at 7 or 8 o’clock. We’ve got a couple of CD release parties, the return of a Saturday residency, some end-of-season festivals, and a couple of surprising acts on hand this week. Have a good one.


Wednesday, September 4

imagesNancy Harms CD Release Party @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) Nancy Harms grew up in rural Minnesota, moved to Minneapolis to begin her singing career, and moved to NYC a couple of years ago. She’s done well there, getting engagements at a number of clubs, including Birdland, singing on a Wycliffe Gordon CD, making connections that have allowed her to sing at festivals in Europe. Now, she has a new CD, Dreams in Apartments. She’s written a few of the tunes with Arne Fogel, and does a terrific job of interpreting some standards. Nancy has a unique sound, in that she can sound languid, yet still swing. There is no doubt that tonight’s release party will be fun.

Davu Seru & Friends @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (tip jar) Drummer Davu Seru will be joined by Pat O’Keefe, clarinets; Marc Anderson on percussion; and Brian Roessler, bass. All of these musicians can play both inside and outside, so expect an intriguing evening of music.

Miguel Hurtado & Friends @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) This is actually, Courageous Endeavors, a quartet led by Brian Courage on bass, quickly becoming a bassist-about-town, and features recent University grad Joe Strachan on piano; with Nelson Deveraux on sax; and Miguel Hurtado on drums.

Thursday, September 5

I've Been Ringing You

I’ve Been Ringing You

Dave King Trio featuring Bill Carruthers and Billy Peterson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($17) Drummer King, who seems to collect bands like some people collect records, threw a curve to the critics when he came up with the trio that plays beautiful ballads. Carruthers plays spare, spacious music on the piano, while Peterson’s sensitive bass playing holds things down, to which King responds with imagination and taste. The album they put out last year, I’ve Been Ringing You is an homage, or perhaps a love song, to the Great American songbook and jazz standards, including Ornette Coleman’s Lonely Woman.

Friday, September 6

Playing on the patio, with guest Billy Peterson

Playing on the patio, with guest Billy Peterson

Irv Williams & Peter Schimke @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 4″30pm – 6:00pm (Free)  Irv Williams recently celebrated his 94th birthday by throwing a little party for his fellow inhabitants of a senior living complex. His tone is a sweet and gentle as can be, though he throws in a honk here at there, mostly at the end of a song, to break the mood. Schimke is a piano player about town who has developed great rapport with Williams, and serves as a perfect foil, as can be heard on the CD, Duets.

Dorothy Doring, Joan Griffith, & Phil Mattson @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10:30pm (Free) A personable, engaging vocalist, a talented guitarist, and a piano player who has built a reputation for arranging for vocalists. All in the Parma’s lounge.

Friday, Saturday, September 6,7

band-yellowedGraydon Peterson CD Release Party @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) Peterson has been well established as a bassist-about-town for a number of years now, and he’s been slowly composing the compositions that appear on the Quartet’s CD. He makes effective use of the harmonies and contrasts of Vinnie Rose on guitar and Adam Meckler, trumpet. Adrian Suarez on drums, together with Peterson, lays down an effective foundation for the group.

Saturday, September 7

JoAnn Funk @ The Saint Paul Hotel Lobby Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30 – 11:00 (Free) JoAnn on piano and vocals, and Jeff Brueske on bass return to their school year residency every Saturday. It’s a great place for people watching, and the cocktails are good (if a tad high), but the real reason to go is to hear JoAnn singing the songs of Nat King Cole, Blossom Dearie, Dan Penn, and many more. Here she is doing a Ry Cooder tune.

Tuesday, September 10

A Chris Olson Project @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Tip Jar)  Chris is one of the area’s top guitar players, teaching at MacNally Smith and playing in the JazzMN Big Band, Maintime, and others. For this gig, which occurs with some regularity, Chris invites some friends to join him to play songs they don’t play with other people.

More listings for Twin Cities jazz can be found at KBEM and at Jazz Police. Jazz Police also features jazz commentary as well, as do Bebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, September 5,6,7

Moore by Four - Favorites at Concrete & Grass

Moore by Four – Favorites at Concrete & Grass

Concrete and Grass Festival @ Mears Park & Black Dog Cafe, Saint Paul. 7pm Thursday, 5pm Friday, 4pm Saturday (Free) Here’s a chance to welcome back The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, playing Thursday night at 7pm, followed by Moore by Four. Other artists featured in this festival include the Minnesota Opera and Halloween Alaska on Saturday, Lucy Michelle w/Chan Poling and John Munson, and Marimba Africa on Friday, and the East Side Quartet, featuring Clint Hoover, at the Black Dog on Friday. More information can be found at

Friday, September 6

Les Nubians @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9pm ($35) These French sisters have been nominated for Grammys in R&B, and with their AfroEuropean sound, embody pan global rhythms – exotic music with a danceable beat. Check out this video.

Javier & the Innocent Sons, w/Cooker John @ Harriet Brewing Taproom, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Some blues for you, with an excellent band and an enjoyable soloist.

Tommy Malone with Paul Metsa & Willie Walker @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($?) Tommy Malone is the lead singer, guitarist, and one of the primary writers for New Orleans’ Subdudes, so rootsy rock music may be the order of the day, encompassing New Orleans R&B, folk, gospel, and perhaps some Cajun rhythms. He’s touring in support of his solo effort, Natural Born Days, which is riding high on Louisiana’s roots music charts. Metsa and Walker are billed as special guests, so I’m guessing they’ll have their own set to open.

Saturday, September 7

Haley will be there

Haley will be there

Secret Stash Soul Revue & More @ Summit Brewing Backyard Bash, Saint Paul. Noon – 8pm. ($18 advance/$20 gate) This is an annual celebration of Summit Beer, but more than that, it’s also a way to support Minnesota Music, as 50% of the gate goes to the Minnesota Music Coalition. Besides the Soul Revue, the Bash will feature a fitting cross-section of Minnesota Musicians:  Haley Bonar and a full band; the New Standards; Night Moves; Lizzo; and Charlie Parr and Friends, with Hot Pants Deejays spinning between acts. Good music. Good Beer. Good Cause.

Washington County Bluegrass Festival, Lake Elmo Park Reserve, Lake Elmo. 3pm – 7pm ($5) Facepainting, foodtrucks, and music from The Cactus Blossoms at 3pm; Boys ‘N the Barrels at 4pm; the Roe Family Singers at 5pm; and Kind Country at 6pm. The Lake Elmo Park reserve is a 2200 acre parkland, about 30 minutes or less east of the metro area.

Sunday, September 8

4th Annual Adieu Summer Concert @ Black Bear Crossings in the Lake Como Pavillion, Saint Paul. 4pm – 7pm ($10 – Children under 12 Free) A collection of world music groups, with an emphasis on the laid-back rhythms of Brazil and Hawaii, featuring the Talking Strings, Lau Hawaiian  Collective, Ticket to Brasil, and Blusion.

Tuesday, September 10 

Unknown-1ETHEL String Quartet @ Macalester College Mairs Concert Hall, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Free) This New York based group includes violinist Kip Jones, who is originally from Duluth, and settled in the Twin Cities for a while after traveling the globe. While here Jones played in a number of different venues with a variety of improvising players. I did an interview with him in 2011, which you can read here. The string quartet will be playing works by Mary Ellen Childs, Vijay Iyer, Jeff Buckly, Enniko Morricone, and more, including a Jones original.

Naturally 7 @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40) This is a New York City group that sings a capella (the city’s streetcorners and subways are great places to hone this sound). They call their style VocalPlay, since they also use their voices to imitate instruments, something that hasn’t been done by groups since the Mills Brothers and others did it back in the 30s and 40s. Of course, the use of looping technology helps. They recorded three songs with Michael Buble, and have also done a track with Ludacris for the latest Quincy Jones record. Here’s an illustration of their work.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the Minnesota Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar.

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